New UAE weekend: We had enough time to prepare for Jumuah prayers, say faithful

Several officegoers turned up in workwear for Friday prayers instead of traditional outfits, as they'd come straight from work



KT photo/Shihab
KT photo/Shihab

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 7 Jan 2022, 5:03 PM

Call for prayer on Fridays are generally given before 12pm, but it was a little different today. As the UAE transitioned into shorter workweek, and Fridays being a half-day at work, the call for prayer today was given at 12.25pm.

Last Friday (December 31), the faithful were seen decked up in traditional Arabic attire or kurtas. But many residents who came to the mosque for the Jumuah congregation today were seen in suits and formal wear, as they had come straight from their offices. At some places, the Friday prayer even started at 1.25pm.

The government sector worked until 12pm this Friday, and many employees from the sector attended the prayer at Yaqub Mosque in Deira, due to the number of governments offices in the vicinity.

“Alhamdulillah, we all had enough time to prepare for Jumuah prayer," said a faithful, who works in a government department.

"It was quite different. We used to have our weekly offs on Fridays, so we had ample time to prepare for the Friday prayers," said some residents at Yaqub Masjid.

Several officegoers reached the mosque early to attend to their pre-prayer chores.

Lebanese expat, Najib Ahemed, reached the mosque before 12pm. He said he could carry out his pre-prayer duties without any issues. "I was wondering if I could read Surah Kahaf (a chapter in the Holy Quran) before the prayers. Thankfully, I had enough time to recite it. I'm delighted I could do that," said Ahemed.

He added that the decision by authorities to allot ample time for officegoers for Friday prayers is commendable.

Farhan Qureshi, a sales executive with Sobha Developers, said that the change was evident and it was for betterment. "It was a very smooth Friday for me. It was a normal working day, but the only difference was the long break in between (for prayers). Makes us feel so fresh," he said.

“I am used to seeing worshippers in kandoras as Friday prayers, but today, it was different,” added Farhan.

Many residents were also delighted with the response they received at their businesses.

Khalid Ahmed, a Syrian expat and owner of Trendy Restaurant in Deira, said it was the first Friday for them to open the place in the morning for breakfast. “I received so many customers for breakfast today. The restaurant is located in the government office vicinity and we received a good response,” said Ahmed

“It is indeed a good start to the new weekend,” he added.

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Abdul Abid, a Moroccan expat and a resident at Al Rigga Al Buteen, said he had almost forgotten about the new weekend. “This is the beginning. We will take a little time to adjust. But the weekend will be smooth and eventually lead to betterment.”

Starting January 1, 2022, the UAE transitioned into a four-and-a-half-day workweek, with Saturday, Sunday and Friday half-day forming the new weekend.

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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